Posts Tagged ‘master planning’

First United Methodist Orlando Receives 2013 Best Religious Structure Award

The First United Methodist Church in Orlando, Florida, was recently awarded the 2013 Best Religious Structure Design Award by PCI. The church has been located in the city’s trendy downtown area for over 100 years

CDH architects and interior designers created a modern addition to the traditional styled sanctuary, which contains an 82,000 square foot contemporary worship center with a seating capacity of 350. Also included in the design was a 125-seat chapel that contains a parlor, bride’s suite, music suite, adult and children’s classrooms, nurseries, and an administrative suite.

02/2012-First United Methoodist Church Orlando, Fl.


In April 2012, a spacious fellowship hall was completed, which contains an upscale café and a full service kitchen. It also serves as a recreation destination for children, who play in specially designed themed areas.

A custom 16-foot light fixture hangs in the center of the fellowship hall and is highly visible through glass exterior walls, which form a three-story atrium and serves as a signature feature to the new ministry center. At night this striking feature becomes a luminary for the city of Orlando. The new structure is LEED Silver certified and energy costs have already been reduced by almost 18 percent through lighting selection, e–glass windows, high efficiency solutions for HVAC, high efficiency water reduction fixtures, and energy-star appliances.

02/2012-First United Methoodist Church Orlando, Fl.


Writing for PCI’s publication Ascent Magazine, Sarah Fister Gale writes, “”Today’s architects and engineers are under constant pressure to deliver beautiful, durable structures within constrained budgets and schedules. The winner of the 2013 PCI Design Awards Competition demonstrate the ways that precast concrete helps them meet those goals.

“This year’s winners showcase the high-performance attributes that precast, prestressed concrete can bring to a project. . . . Precast concrete enable all of the winners to accelerate construction, often while working in extremely tight site conditions with minimal effects on traffic, the community, and the local environment.

“The awards covered an array of building types, include best Parking structure, Best Mixed-Use Building, and Best Religious structure, along with a variety of bridge types and lengths. . . . Each of this year’s award winners proved that precast concrete brings beauty, strength, and efficiency to all types of structures and will continue to be a go-to materal for engineers and architects seeking high performance.”

CDH Works on Third Health Park

Recently, the Marietta Daily Journal ran an article featuring the three CDH designed WellStar health parks located in Acworth, East Cobb (currently under construction), and Vinings, which is soon-to-be-built. A fourth heath park is planned for the Cherokee County area.


The WellStar Acworth Health Park was one of the first health parks built in Georgia. It was developed to meet the needs of the surrounding community by offering a higher level of patient care in a safe setting. The first two floors of the health park contain physician’s offices, which are leased mostly by doctors within the Medical Group.

This facility quickly became a model for a system-wide approach for community wellness and care. These comprehensive medical facilities offer a full complement of services that includes diagnostic imaging, women’s services, ambulatory surgery, physical therapy, multi-special rehabilitation, urgent care, physicians offices including primary care, OB/GYN, pediatrics, cardiac/Pulmonary, orthopedics, and a sleep center. These facilities are often expandable to include fitness centers, community/education classrooms, childcare, retail shops, and a pharmacy.


Co-mingling of healthcare services and physicians’ offices brings a new level of convenience to residents. Screenings and wellness services are done on site, which means a patient does not have to be sick to access the facility. Designers also create gather spaces where patients and their families can meet, talk, and even rest. These spaces include comfortable seating, water features, and other services that are focused on patient needs and care. (At the right is the East Cobb Health Park, which is currently under construction and is located on Johnston Ferry Road.)

To read more about these CDH designed health parks, please click here.

WellStar East Cobb Health Park Topping Out Party

Recently, general contractors Brasfield Gorrie hosted a “Topping Out” party for the WellStar East Cobb Health Park. CDH Partners is the architectural firm for the project, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. Much like the Acworth Health Park, the East Cobb three-story 205,000 sf health park will offer a full complement of services including cardio pulmonary rehab, orthosport rehab, urgent care, imaging, women’s imaging, physician practices such as family, cardio vascular, pulmonary, a sleep lab, ENT, allergy, OB/GYN, general surgery, GI, vascular, endocrinology, urology, spine clinic, and orthopedics. The facility will have a three-story parking and contain a 20,000 sf ambulatory surgery center along with an atrium, a café, a retail pharmacy, and space for community education.



Front entrance with CDH signage.



Tate McKee, senior vice president and division manager for Brasfield and Gorrie, with Bill Chigwidden, who is founding principal and president of CDH Partners.



CDH team members at the Topping Off party: Carine Kroko, Scott Arnold, and John Harcharic.



The front of the Health Park takes shape with a familiar WellStar look.



The three story atrium reaches its final height.



Construction workers and WellStar leadership and CDH teams gather to celebrate.



Looking out to the area that will be the front of the Health Park.

Acworth Health Park Featured in Healthcare Design Magazine

The Acworth Health Park, designed by CDH Partners, Inc., has quickly become a model for a system-wide approach for community wellness and care. The comprehensive medical facility offers a full complement of services that includes diagnostic imaging, women’s services, ambulatory surgery, physical therapy, multispecial rehabilitation, urgent care, physicians offices including primary care, OB/GYN, pediatrics, cardiac/Pulmonary, orthopedics, and a sleep center.

It was one of the first health parks built in Georgia and was developed to meet the needs of the surrounding community by offering a higher level of patient care in a safe setting. The first two floors of the health park contain physician’s offices, which are leased mostly by doctors within the Medical Group. Click here to continue reading.

Brasfield & Gorrie Celebrates Topping Out on WellStar Paulding Hospital



Editor’s note: The official Topping Out Party for WellStar Paulding Hospital took place March 21, 2013. However, the contractor Brasfield & Gorrie recently released the following information, and we wanted to link up to that company’s news article.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Brasfield & Gorrie recently celebrated the topping out of the structure’s top floor of WellStar Paulding Hospital located outside Atlanta, Ga.

When completed, the hospital will total seven stories and 295,000 square feet. Also being constructed as part of this project are a 120,000-square-foot precast parking deck and a four-story, 82,220-square-foot medical office building. The hospital will house emergency exam rooms, pediatric emergency exam rooms, surgery suites, decentralized nursing stations, patient rooms, administrative offices and a café. Click here to continue reading.

Making the Case for Design-Build

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh



(Editor’s note: The following article appears in the August/September issue of Church Executive magazine and contains information and quotes from CDH marketing manager Ernest Pullen and David Strickland, CDH principal AIA, LEED AP BD+C.)

When architecture and construction experts describe the design-build process, the word “collaborative” comes up a lot. That’s for a reason.

When architecture and construction experts describe the design-build delivery process, the word “collaborative” comes up a lot. That’s for a reason.

Essentially, a design-build project begins with identifying the owner’s budget. Next, architects and engineers work with the owner to develop a design that meets its overall needs, but with an eye on the construction budget.

Richard Harrison, chairman & CEO at Rhino Construction Group (Milan, TN) — a member of National Association of Design Builders (NACDB) — says his company has only built one non-design-build church project in the past 10 years. “Although the church considers it a success, there are serious deficiencies in flow, materials and AVL (audio, video & lighting) systems,” he explains. “Our expertise wasn’t utilized during design, and those changes were too expensive to make after the fact.”



Ernest Pullen, marketing manager at CDH Partners in Marietta, GA, says his firm uses an incentive-based “integrated project delivery” approach to design-build. All team members (owner, constructor and design professional) are vested in the project at its earliest inception.

“This approach creates a sense of ownership and pride,” Pullen says. “IPD provides cost predictability, risk management and technical integration. In the end, we believe that IPD leads to a natural evolution toward a better design project initiative.” Click here to continue reading.

WellStar Paulding Hospital: Taking Shape Quickly!

Here is a pictorial update of the WellStar Paulding Hospital.  The main entry to the hospital provides clear wayfinding and simple entry sequence.


The Paulding Outpatient Pavilion will connect to the Hospital through a central Atrium.


The chapel overlooks a healing meditation garden.


The main lobby stairway provides active design and encourages mobility and wellness for staff and visitors.


The concourse connects the main lobby to the dining and emergency department.


The dining area is flooded with natural light.


The “wave wall” provides acoustic balance and positive distraction.


The emergency department uses clerestory to bring natural light to the interior support spaces.


The outpatient lobby connects the Atrium to the Paulding outpatient Pavilion and the Paulding Physicians Center.


The central atrium extends more than 60 feet and connects 5 stories of the Hospital


Each patient room has a large window overlooking the surrounding landscape.


The central energy plants provides power to the eight story, state-of-the-art facility.


The Clubhouse will provide workspace to the hospital’s administration and managers.


Choosing colors that will work with the environment.

Enhanced Healing by Design

By Paulla Shetterly —

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a tremendous push to rethink hospital design and safety. This is mainly because Evidence Based Design (EBD) proves a strong relationship between the physical design of hospitals and key patient outcomes which include patient safety, hospital acquired infections (HAI), medical errors, and injuries. Furthermore, there’s a deep need to reduce stress on hospital staff while increasing effectiveness in patient care. For our clients one of the true marks of success rests on providing positive patient outcomes and improving the overall quality of healthcare.

Actually, there are many parts to the healthcare equation. Some are basic and if implemented correctly can reduce the rate of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI). Over the last five to ten years, we have seen a tremendous rise in HAI. The fact is: ten years ago diseases were not as smart as they are today. They responded well to treatment with antibiotics, but this is not the case today.

Many of today’s viruses and bacteria have become resistant to treatments—this type of treatment—something that once worked well. Because of this, the healthcare industry seems to have taken an “all-hands-on-deck” approach, especially when it comes to fighting new strands of bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a large number of patients die each year from nosocomial infections. This is alarming, especially given the advances we have in the area of patient care. As a interior designer, I found myself asking: “What can we do even if it is on a basic level to address this situation in the medical facilities that we design?”

in_03191_-_-_mainlobby10-1 copy

When it comes to hospital design, I believe we need to —

• Think differently —We continually evolve and broaden our design approach to ensure we meet the challenge of thinking strategically, efficiently, and effectively when creating a built environment to reduce HAIs. Our projects utilize state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems to improve air quality, reduce pathogens, and help to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Recent studies have shown a link between the increase of infectious diseases such as C-diff, MRSA and VRE and something as simple as proper hand washing and sanitizing. While that may seem shocking, it is understandable when we realize the pressure and workload that is placed on healthcare providers. (A Review of the Research Literature on Evidence Based Healthcare Design by Ulrich.)

Even though hand washing is a part of the clinical processes and culture of a facility, the built environment can play a positive role with high impact.  For example, our team was challenged to increase hand washing compliance for nurses and physicians while designing the Paulding Replacement Hospital in Hiram, Georgia. The design team rose to the challenge with specially designed hand washing and sanitizing stations located inside and outside of the patient rooms throughout the hospital to increase the opportunity for hand washing.

We designed the patient rooms to operate on a smarter platform. First, the room layout and spatial design of the support spaces allows nurses and the doctors to be closer to the patients for excellent “bedside care.” Plus, we’ve incorporated technology that tracks nurses and caregiver’s proximity to hand washing sinks, encouraging them to wash their hands. Each care provider is tagged with a small device that allows the hospital to track opportunities for hand washing compliance. This device can also monitor how many times a care provider enters and exits a patient’s room. This isolated example proves how serious hospitals are about stopping the spread of bacteria and disease.


• Promote and use surfaces that help to prevent diseases— Surface materials make a tremendous difference in patient outcomes, especially when dealing with hospital acquired infections. When appropriate, this is why we make a concentrated effort to specify materials that are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. In the past, hospitals have used plastic laminate countertops, which are basically compressed paper with wood substrates. These materials are porous and over time they absorb moisture and bacteria. Wet wood harbors bacteria. Therefore, we recommend non-porous surfaces such as Corian solid surfacing or solid acrylic surfaces in high-risk areas. This material is nonporous, inert like stainless steel. It also is more hygienic and easier to clean, which aids in fighting diseases. Plus, it can help eliminate the spread of infections and cross contamination of things like Staph, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

Once surfaces are installed, they must be maintained correctly. Just because a surface is white and shiny does not mean it is clean. The truth is that we can design a warm, welcoming, and inviting space, but if the surfaces are not maintained properly, viruses and germs will grow. We also can install great products, but the success of these depends on proper cleaning and maintenance.

• Use bacteria and moisture resistant fabrics— Our particular design process also takes into consideration the daily use and lifespan of materials. Fabric companies are always researching and creating fabrics that will fight against cross contamination and HAI’s. NanoTEX and Crypton fabrics are non-porous and were designed to be easy to clean. They are also resistant to stains, which can help to reduce the spread of infections. However, certain cleaners can actually shorten the life of surfaces and fabrics and damage the overall effectiveness of the material. Therefore, we often use hospital approved vinyl, which are scrubbable, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and moisture resistant.

• Include light and spaciousness — I truly believe healing is directly connected to the quality of patient care delivered and the ability of the built environment to support care delivery processes. Therefore, we design healthcare facilities to be warm and welcoming, to reduce stress for patients and staff. We design specific family zones inside and outside of patient rooms for families and loved ones to meet, rest, and regroup. Window walls in patient rooms allow natural light to penetrate into the structure and provide views to the outside. Natural distractions along with lighting, art , and neutral colors create a calm, warm and safe healing environment.


Advantages of LEAN design

As a final note, we also take advantages of the principles of LEAN design. More than ever before, our healthcare design practice focuses on efficiency and patient safety. We utilize a holistic view of the design concept and implement the best practice approach that will lead to a successful outcome while eliminating redundancies and reducing waste.  For example, visual and physical access to patient rooms has become increasingly important to many of our clients.  Historically, nursing stations were centrally located, which often removed the caregiver from the patient’s bedside.

Today, many of our clients want caregivers at the bedside and have implemented a six-second rule to prevent extended time hunting and gathering. Meaning, nurses should not have to travel more than six seconds to reach common supplies. Additionally, nurses may be equipped with mobile devices that connect to landing and perching stations. These areas permit doctors, therapists, and technicians to collaborate and simultaneously monitor patient progress. The perching stations allow them to record data quickly and remain focused on patient care. Hospitals monitor many aspects of patient/nurse interaction for process improvements in order to be more effective and efficient.

Healthcare design has a broad and bold scope, but when we address this changing industry, we still must begin with the basics. But with such high stakes, we cannot afford to simply create pretty spaces that flow from a set of great drawings. We must create efficient and effective healing environments where patients are confident that they will receive the best and most advanced care possible.

Paulla Shetterly is an associate principal and director of Interior Design at CDH. Her broad experience includes working with major healthcare clients and complex projects. She has been interviewed and published in Healthcare Facilities Management Magazine. She is a graduate of Kansas State University where she received a B.S. in Interior Design. To learn more about this subject or to contact Paulla Shetterly, you can email her at:


St. Elmo’s United Methodist Church

In August 2009, a devastating fire almost completely destroyed this historic church located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With the help of CDH Partners and The Strauss Company, the church membership was able to rebuild a new facility using the three remaining walls. Today, this new structure provides the congregation with a much more suitable building for their ministry needs, which includes community outreach and education. In 2012, St. Elmo’s United Methodist Church received the Solomon Award for excellence at the Worship Facilities Expo.

Road to Flexibility: Strategic Interventions



Joshua Crews, CDH Partners, takes part in this three-part series, which explores the topic of flexibility in architecture. It was originally published in Heathcare Design Magazine The first article examined the main reason for flexibility: change. The second article explored the three types of flexibility (convertibility, adaptability, and transformability) and how they can be beneficial to the healthcare field. This third and final article studies incorporating flexibility into the design process, along with specific architectural flexibility strategies.

Hospital facilities are always changing. Without leadership, a clear vision, and guiding principles that specifically target flexibility, healthcare facilities can become oversized and develop inefficient circulation and complex wayfinding. A holistic, facility-wide approach to flexibility will create a cohesive campus, and reduce costs and downtime during future construction projects, as well as lengthen building lifespans.

Although the specific ways in which a facility will evolve can’t be predicted, there are some basic assumptions that can help a design team prepare a hospital for future growth and expansion.

In this article, architectural strategies for flexibility are presented at two scales: micro and macro. At a micro level, the strategies operate within circulation approaches, zoning, and programming. At a macro level, the strategies affect site placement, building shape and orientation, and vertical and horizontal expansion considerations. Continue Reading

Old Buildings – Modern Masterpieces

02/2012-First United Methoodist Church Orlando, Fl.

Editor’s note: Here’s more info on First United Methodist Orlando, which recently received a LEED Silver Certification. It was a CDH Partner’s project. This article was originally published in Religious Product News.)

by Jennifer Walker-Journey

Can an old church building become a modern-day masterpiece?

It was a daunting question posed by leadership of First United Methodist Church of Orlando, an organization with a history dating back to the 1840s. Over the years, the church’s identity had become associated with its sanctuary, which was built in 1982 with a beautiful tower rising 163 feet above its base. The tower culminated in a massive gold-covered cross measuring 12.75 feet high and 5.5 feet wide, and it was so noteworthy in that it is listed as a must-see in the “Tours of Orlando.”

As the sanctuary neared its 50th anniversary, church leadership realized that in order to stay a viable force in downtown Orlando, it had to revamp its physical self to better appeal to the young and young-at-heart. And that, ideally, meant turning the traditional church campus into a more contemporary one, one that fell in step with a more progressive downtown community?

02/2012-First United Methoodist Church Orlando, Fl.

It was a notion architects with CDH Partners didn’t dismiss. The firm has vast experience in master planning with a focus on church design. It also emphasized LEED certification in many of its projects. If anyone could find a way to merge the church’s “old world” charm with modern features, this was the team to do it.

“The decision to design a contemporary structure was a bold move for the church, departing from the traditional structure of the existing worship center,” said Timothy J. Black, AIA, LEED AP and project architect with CDH Partners. “A contemporary addition best articulated the church’s desire to communicate its relevance both architecturally and contextually with the changing community.” Continue Reading


Topping Off Party at Paulding Hospital


Mark Haney president of WellStar Paulding Hospital is joined by CDH project manager Mary Lindeman and Contract Administrator Gregg Kidd at the new Paulding Hospital site.

Wellstar Paulding Hospital, which is a CDH project, is scheduled to open April 2014 with 56 beds. Future expansion will see the hospital grow to a 112 bed facility. When all the phases are completed, it will be an eight-story, 250,000 square foot, Energy Star facility that offers core medical amenities that include emergency services for adults and children, an accredited chest pain center, and private patient rooms, telemetry and medical/surgical, low acuity and high acuity surgery, GI and bronch services, along with ear, nose, and throat care. Cancer therapies will be done on site. The hospital will also offer in patient and out patient imaging. Plus, it will have a state-of-the-art women’s imaging center.


Recently, Brasfield Gorrie general contractors hosted a WellStar Paulding Hospital “topping off” party in celebration of the building reaching its final height. The facility is on tap to become one of the first Pebble Projects in Georgia. Specific focus is being placed on meeting the personal needs of patients as well as the needs of their families and caregivers while maximizing operational efficiency and environmental performance.

“Becoming a Pebble Project has motivated us to think differently about every area of the hospital and medical facility,” said Mark Haney president of WellStar Paulding Hospital. “We didn’t want to build a traditional hospital. We wanted to build a facility that could be integrated into this community in such a way that it becomes much more than just a place to receive medical care. We wanted every aspect of it to be healing and promote wellness. Pebble-based projects are evidence based design concepts. Therefore this hospital will be centered around patient care, quality safety, and efficiency.”


“Once we are full at the first two levels,” said Haney, “we will open another floor and another 28 beds along with growing our staff at the same time. I believe this approach is the best way to remain good stewards of our resources.” The hospital will eventually employ over 300 people and is being seen as a boost to the local economy. It also will contain 30 adult and 10 pediatric emergency exam rooms, and four surgery suites with the flexibility to expand to eight. There are also plans for it to become an educational and meeting center for the Paulding community.

Haney emphasized that the CDH Partners design team helped Paulding’s administrative team take their vision to a higher level, which included holistic design, open work areas, and teaming stations where a greater degree of collaboration can take place. “When we sat down with the integrated design team from CDH Partners, we had certain goals in mind, and they helped us solidify these goals and then to develop a plan where they would become a reality. Meeting the growing needs of our patients, their families, and community was a top priority, but there was another objective that we wanted to reach and that was the care and support of our doctors and our staff. “

The new Wellstar Paulding facility is following a national trend that offers medical services in a community environment—where patients live. It is a very attractive option to the alternative that at times puts healthcare miles away from patients, family members and care givers.


Paulding Hospital will be one of the most advanced hospitals in the state of Georgia.


As a commitment to sustainable solutions, WellStar is investing in the geo-thermal heating system for the new Paulding hospital.


Mark Haney takes time to talk with a few of the CDH staff and compliment the team on the project.

A New Beginning for St. Elmo UMC

by Jim Kumorek

(The following article was published in Worship Facilities Magazine, February 2013. St. Elmo’s United Methodist Church, a CDH Partner’s Inc. project, received a 2012 Solomon Award for Church Architecture.) 

August 23, 2009, is a date the congregation of St. Elmo United Methodist Church (UMC) will not soon forget. This was the day when their facility was ravaged by a fire believed to have started with the structure’s original knob-and-tube wiring, according to Michael White, project manager for the Strauss Co. in Chattanooga, Tenn., retained to rebuild the facility following designs from architectural firm CDH Partners based in Marietta, Ga.

“The loss we experienced was tremendous,” comments Rev. Dr. Mark Dowell, pastor of St. Elmo, in an interview conducted by CDH Partners. “It’s hard to put into words. It was a loss of a place we loved.”

Through the generosity and support of other churches in the community, St. Elmo was able to continue its church services in other venues throughout the three-year process of rebuilding. This enabled the church building committee to take the time necessary to evaluate its options and make wise decisions on how to proceed. Please continue reading

CDH Master Plan Makes A Huge Difference for Cincinnati Church

The following editorial was published in Worship Facilities Magazine March 19,2011—


On Jan. 9, 2011, Horizon Community Church in Cincinnati celebrated the opening of Phase I of its new campus. After purchasing a 160-acre golf course alongside the Little Miami River in Cincinnati, Horizon Community worked with CDH Partners of Marietta, Ga., to master plan the site as the church’s new campus.

The campus development plan is phased to meet the needs of the congregation as it grows to capacity for each phase of development. An objective for church leadership was to preserve the beauty of the site and orient the campus to take full advantage of the views across the pristine landscape. Reportedly designed with sustainability in mind, the building will conserve energy through the use of energy-efficient HVAC equipment. In addition, the first phase is a traditional French Country design and establishes the foundation for future development.

Phase I includes many outdoor features that help distinguish the campus, such as a 3.5-acre pond with 10,000 square feet of terraces. CDH’s design made use of natural stone and brick on the exterior, creating an Old-World feel to the buildings as one approaches. Focal to the newly completed 65,000-square-foot building, according to CDH’s president, Bill Chegwidden, is a 400-seat chapel, which serves as the initial worship space for the new campus. A main street corridor provides ample indoor gathering spaces and easy access to the chapel; a bride’s room; administrative offices; two theater spaces for youth and children; additional educational spaces for children, youth and adults; a warming kitchen; and parking to serve the initial development. “The exposed arched wood trusses with clearstory windows enhance the warmth of the interior space in the main street area as well as in the chapel,” Chegwidden says. The mezzanine level offers access to a recreation area for the youth.

Future development of the phased master plan includes a large 800-seat worship center, a full service kitchen, doubling the size of the gathering space, a 250-seat youth theater, and expanded parking to serve the needs of a larger campus.

Bill Chegwidden is president and a founding partner of CDH Partners, Inc.